Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:And yet, Google does censor (Score 1) 288 288

Google already censors the web according to US laws and preferences. They're constantly taking down links to child pornography. They take down links to copyrighted content. They're even taking down links to revenge porn now.

While I agree with you in general that Google is... somewhat inconsistent in where it chooses to take it's stands, your first two examples are hardly limited to the US. Pretty much everywhere we'd regard as civilized has laws against child pornography and regarding copyrighted material.

Comment Re:Many gas stations to close? (Score 1) 864 864

According to the article, many gas stations will close once 10% of cars are electric, to the point of inconvenience.

Bullshit. I drove a vehicle with one of the most damn inconvenient fuels out there: Propane. In my province, 0.2% of vehicles run on Propane. In my city are alone (population: ~500,000), there's still 4 fueling stations and I'm never more than 15 km away from one.

Apples and oranges - you have [propane] fueling stations because they piggyback on the infrastructure that distributes propane for other uses. Gasoline infrastructure is unique to gasoline powered cars - and when the demand on that infrastructure drops, eventually even still active stations will find it hard to obtain stocks as the infrastructure starts to shut down.

Comment You have no idea what you're talking about. (Score 1) 66 66

No, you won't find this on a small cruiser - but you also don't find the poor little cruiser out in the middle of the ocean by itself.

Actually, yes, you do. The Navy does a lot more than just sail around in full carrier centric battle groups.

I imagine newer boats have full on CNC machines.

They don't.

Comment Re:This just in (Score 2) 66 66

US Navy ships have machine shops on-board, because they often need to fabricate objects while at sea.

Other than carriers and large support vessels however, the machine shops are generally pretty basic and operated by relatively unskilled/inexperienced people. (They're trained in the operation of the tools, but it's not their full time job.)

3D printing is a game changer even for the Navy in that it requires essentially no skill or significant training.

Comment Re:If there was a criteria for safe unlocking (Score 1) 83 83

this sandwich very likely isn't as expensive as you think

Only because, like most armchair engineers, you've breezily handwaved away issues you have quite cleary no clue about.

Yet, for being the least reliable, it's a method that works very well - presuming the operator is properly trained.

No it doesn't. Not even in the slightest.

Millions (billions?) of man hours of operation of aircraft, spacecraft, submarines, etc... etc.. says just the opposite. Again, you have no fucking clue what you're talking about.

Comment Re:A "safety feature" (Score 1) 83 83

It's interesting as the unique tail section was actually touted as a "safety feature" by the company. I'm not necessarily saying it can't be the case, but like any feature, even a safety feature (see: exploding airbags), defects or improper use can cause more harm than in it's absence.

An improperly implemented safety feature (emergency ballast blow system) contributed to the loss of USS Thresher... In the same way, the Apollo 1 crew died (in part) because of a system (a well locked down hatch) that had been installed to prevent a repeat of an earlier accident. (Which, by morbid coincidence, one of the crew had been involved in.)

It's a bit strange, as it seems like such a fundamental error - not some obscure feature that could be overlooked. What pilot would say to himself "Hey, I know I'm supposed to unlock the tail at time X, but what the hell, why not just do it now?" It seems really strange that they wouldn't have precise procedures for this, since it's such a critical part of the entire design.

It's not so much that, as the pilot appears to have become confused due to a) the simulator not properly conditioning them, b) lack of recent and overall experience with the vehicle, and c) high cockpit workload at that point in the flight compounding a) and b). At least that's how I read the report. (The abstract and summary of which is not clearly linked of the summary or TFA but which can be found here.)

From my experience in the Navy, I can say that obtaining those reflexes isn't easy, and neither is maintaining them (regardless of experience).

Comment Re:If there was a criteria for safe unlocking (Score 2) 83 83

If there was a criteria for safe unlocking of the hinged tail section then why wasn't it interlocked until the criteria was satisfied?

There are problems with interlocks that aren't often appreciated by the armchair engineer. They add weight and complexity to a system. They themselves can fail. They add to the maintenance burden. They add to training, Etc... etc... TANSTAAFL.

A bigger error here is reliance on operator training. It's the least reliable form of ensuring a certain outcome.

Yet, for being the least reliable, it's a method that works very well - presuming the operator is properly trained.

Comment Re:High Risk + Low Success = High Cost (Score 1) 245 245

This sounds tough, but how much of the high risk- low success operations being done contribute to the high cost of health care in the US?

Absolutely none. It does however contribute greatly to the total amount spent on health care in the US. Study after study has shown that (on average) something like 50-70% of an individuals lifetime medical costs are incurred in the last three years of their life.

Comment Moron (Score 1) 312 312

It can easoly go off of my property.

Maybe on your planet. Here on earth, they generally can't. On the other hand, bullets can trivially travel great distances. In the same way, except under very unusual circumstances the extraordinarily rare rampaging lawnmower can easily be avoided. A bullet than can't even be detected by human senses prior to it's arrival cannot.

Etc... etc...

Fortunately I, like practically every owner of a lawnmower, only use it to mow my lawn.

Which is completely irrelevant - we're not discussing you or practically anyone else. We're discussing a specific individual behaving in a specific manner.

Comment Apples to oranges. (Score 1) 312 312

You're modded up - but you're actually comparing apples to oranges. Anyone with an IQ over room temperature does feel at least mildly threatened when adjacent to traffic - because it is a somewhat dangerous place to be.

But adjacent is the key word, while on the other hand the lethal weapon on a drone is dangerous at considerable range, both from the drone and from the operator. That's why many inhabited places have laws against discharging a firearm - but not against driving. That's why they're looking to see if the operator should be charged, but I'll be in no danger of being charged simply for operating a motor vehicle when I run errands this afternoon.

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?